Make has worked closely with the City Council, the community and local stakeholders to broaden the mix of uses on offer within the art deco leisure centre and ensure that accessibility and inclusivity are prioritised in the extensive refurbishment and adaptation.
Make’s proposals for Westminster City Council will reinstate heritage features wherever possible, upgrading the swimming pool, leisure centre, studio spaces, treatment rooms and children’s soft play area as well as integrating new uses such as a café, fitness suite and a new home for Marylebone Library, which will be relocated from New Cavendish Street. Spaces will be made as flexible as possible to cater for multiple community uses.
Constructed in 1937, the Renaissance palazzo-style Seymour Leisure Centre was designed by architect Kenneth Cross as a purpose-built community swimming pool. It originally comprised two indoor pools, a stage, spectators’ area, laundry, slipper baths and superintendent’s flat. Since then, it has been modernised several times and is now managed by the council’s leisure operator. The building currently operates as a leisure centre and comprises a five-court sports hall in the heart of the building (formerly the first-class swimming pool); a swimming pool; gym; children’s soft play; climbing centre; health and beauty treatment rooms; and multiple studio spaces. Changes to the site will utilise underused spaces and make areas across the building more accessible for all users.
To reduce operational carbon emissions, photovoltaics will be sensitively installed on the roof above the sports hall, while new double-glazed roof lanterns will be added above the sports hall and swimming pool. Secondary glazing will also be added to all the windows in the sports hall to improve thermal performance.
Architect James Redman said: “Our designs focus on three key aims: to maximise the uses and purpose on offer within the leisure centre so it becomes a true community asset, to refurbish and restore this beautiful art deco building, and to make it accessible and inclusive for the community it serves.”
Cllr David Boothroyd, Cabinet Member for Finance and Council Reform at Westminster City Council said: “Transforming Seymour Leisure Centre will provide first-class facilities for the Westminster community. The improved site will include an open plan gym, refurbished swimming pool and contemporary library with accessibility throughout. The new spaces will be able to be used by multiple clubs and community groups.”